Loughborough Student Life

3 self-catered student food problems (and how to solve them!)

As a student, making sure you’re well fed can be the least of your worries when you have a deadline for Friday and a desperately important sports social to attend! However, making sure you get in that rushed breakfast before you run to a lecture can be the difference between staying awake and concentrating, and your stomach making whale-like rumbling noises. To prevent the latter, and many other effects of food disorganisation, I have compiled a list of mistakes and how to solve them.

It may not be the most exciting of posts, however, who doesn’t like stopping embarrassment, saving money and your precious time?

No time

With all your time being spent just doing that University thing it can be hard to have the time to buy and cook food let alone washing up after! I have found a couple of ways I can save time cooking and instead use that time for important Netflix binges / revision!

Solutions:

  • Meal prep – I can’t stress enough how much this has saved my time. I now have a reputation in my flat for making enough curry for a family of ten and then freezing individual portions. This saves both time and money and your peace of mind when you know you have a curry waiting for you when you only have half an hour to get to sports practise!
  • Online shopping – I have only recently discovered this, having shrugged it off as lazy in the past, I am now fully converted! For £1 delivery at certain times you can’t go wrong and its so satisfying collecting your shopping in your pyjamas without a walk into town!

No money

Ah, the age old student problem! I so know that feeling of despair at the end of the month when you look in the cupboard, only to be greeted by a single onion and a tin of green lentils*. I feel on the whole I have been quite thrifty (how my dad would be proud) and have picked up a few tips on the way!

Solutions:

  • Cheaper alternatives – Aldi is such a life saver when it comes to bargains! I have found their veg, cupboard food and freezer produce to be superior to other supermarkets with price difference considered! Well worth that little extra walk if you’re struggling!
  • Freeze – I am also known in my flat for having the fullest freezer drawer (I seem to have quite a few of these reputations building up…). This is because I freeze my bread, meat and meal portions I have prepared in advance. This both saves time and money! I feel everyone can benefit from this, unless you are likely to eat a loaf of bread within a few days, and if that person is you, I would be interested in how you manage this?!

*Can be substituted for any other food item which when on its own, is useless.


Too much waste

I have grown up with a strong disliking of waste. From my mum forcing me to eat the last spaghetti hoop from my plate (probably a slight exaggeration, but you get the gist) I have known that waste = bad. However, still before I have wasted half a family bag of carrots when I knew I only needed the one.

Solutions:

  • Find a friend – Find someone to share that family bag of carrots with! Get to know what foods your flatmates like and split the prices to save money and waste. Or take a flat trip to the supermarket and split items as you shop, as seen in our disposable camera evidence! (cover photo)
  • Use by dates – (But know these are for supermarkets mainly, you can be a little more lenient). Choose the latest dates, even if that means picking the bag from the back of the shelf.

So, they are the most common problems I face as a self-catered student. I hope my solutions have been helpful and you never have the embarrassing stomach-rumble-in-lecture situation, which I wouldn’t wish upon anyone!

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First year Graphic Communication and Illustration student from Leicester. Describe Loughborough University in one word? Exciting!